This article was updated June 2023.
If you’ve been reading my blog for a while, you’ll know how excited I get about cooking with a dutch oven. In cooler temperatures, there really is no better way to cook over a campfire and this thai chicken curry is one of my favorite recipes. It carries enough heat to really comfort you in the great outdoors, but the coconut milk keeps it mild enough to be a crowd pleaser, even for those who don’t like anything too spicy.
If you’re new to cooking with a cast iron dutch oven, please make sure you season it first so you get the most longevity from this excellent piece of outdoor cooking equipment! Cooking in a camp oven works best on the hot coals on the outer edges of your campfire. You’ll need to get your fire cranking nice and early, so you have lots of lovely hot coals to work with.
For this recipe, I usually use a good quality store bought curry paste, but if you want to really impress your fellow campers, you can always make up a batch of red curry paste from scratch, freeze it in to smaller portions and bring some along for your outdoor adventure. This curry works well with all meats and also as a vegetarian option. If you do use red meat, I suggest letting it blip away on the firepit for longer so your chunks of meat can be broken apart with a fork. Keep an eye on you liquid levels if you cook it over a longer period – you might need to add extra water as it cooks. I usually opt for chicken or firm, white fish… chicken because I just love red chicken curry and fish if we’ve been lucky enough to score whilst out fishing earlier in the day!
I’ve used approximate amounts, not specific measurements, because, well, we’re cooking outdoors! Get creative and mix things up if you like. This curry partners perfectly with rice, but if you have anyone looking to stay lower carb, it’s also lovely with steamed broccoli, sweet potatoes that have been wrapped in foil and roasted in the fire or even served up on a big pile of crunchy iceberg lettuce!
Ok, let’s get in to it… this recipe should feed about 4 adults, so just adjust the amounts if you want to make a bigger portion!
The Best Chicken Curry in a Dutch Oven
You will need the following ingredients:
- Olive oil
- 8 x chicken thighs chopped in to chunks.
- 1/2 cup of store bought Thai Red Curry paste
- 1 x 400ml tin of coconut milk
- 1-2 tablespoons of fish sauce
- 1 cup of chicken stock
- 6 kaffir lime leaves
- Vegetables of your choice – I usually go for bell pepper, mini corn, and green beans, but there are no rules!
- Your preferred rice (jasmine, brown, purple – whatever you love), potatoes or vegetables that you want to serve your curry up with.
- Lime wedges and cilantro/coriander to serve.
- Get your dutch oven heating up on the hot coals of your firepit. Once its hot enough than a few drops of water sizzle when you drop them inside, add a good glug of oil, followed by the chicken thighs. Move them around for 60 seconds to seal them.
- Pour the curry paste, coconut milk, fish sauce and stock over the chicken. Toss in your lime leaves, give everything a stir and pop the lid on your dutch oven. To really get a good, hot oven, scoop up some hot coals and place on the lid of your oven.
- Meanwhile, cook your rice or potatoes.
- Cooking time depends in how hot your firepit is and the size of your camp oven, but keep checking on your curry every 10 minutes, giving it a stir and making sure your liquid isn’t getting too low. Add a little water if needed. This usually takes 20-30 minutes for me. I add in my vegetables (beans, bell pepper etc) once the chicken is just cooked through so they don’t get overcooked.
- Once your curry is cooked, serve it up as per your choice and give a big squeeze of lime juice and a sprinkling of coriander/cilantro over the top.
I hope you enjoy this recipe as much as I do. If you’re looking for more cast iron cooking recipes, check out another one of my favorites here!
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